by Evelyn Pyburn-Originally published in the Yellowstone County News.
LOCKWOOD — It’s been a long time in coming, but Lockwood residents and local dignitaries showed up in great numbers on Wednesday to mark the beginning of construction of a sidewalk in Lockwood, along Highway 87 E, which will improve pedestrian safety.
Lockwood students were guests of honor at the groundbreaking ceremony. They are the primary beneficiaries, in terms of safety, and the focus of concern by community leaders who have worked diligently to improve pedestrian safety in Lockwood.
“It will be good for people who used to walk to school, but now can’t because they had no place to walk,” said one seventh grade student, Kyler Tresch.
“And you can ride your bike,” chimed in classmate, Andrew Mack, who said he intends to ride his.
Kyson Hickes, another seventh grader, agreed, “It will be good because we can walk on a sidewalk.”
“It will encourage more kids to get active,” said Brandon Albright. Without having a means of getting around safely, kids have been discouraged from moving about their community, explained Albright, who is tired of riding what he called “a crowded school bus.” When a trail previously used by students, was closed by a property owner because of liability concerns, the Lockwood School board opted to run a bus in order to prevent kids from walking along busy Highway 87, between the school and the intersection with Old Hardin Road.
The Lockwood Pedestrian Safety Board awarded GMC the bid to build the sidewalk for about a half-mile from Peter Street to Cherry Street. It will be completed this year, if the weather holds.
Nic Talmark, chairman of the Lockwood Pedestrian Safety Board, spoke to the students, explaining that the groundbreaking is a first step in the community’s many goals of not only eventually being able to complete the sidewalk to the intersection, but also to build more sidewalks throughout Lockwood